Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The role of secondary characters...

I LOVE my secondary characters. Sometimes so much, I fear they're going to steal the show, so to speak. But they do have a role.

Remember the movie A Knight's tale?? Just when things look the bleakest for Will, a secondary character reveals himself and all is changed...

Now, at first, while I loved the revelation, I did worry about the whole Deus Ex Machina thing, but it turns out that this character only made it possible for Will to face down his foe, he didn't SOLVE the problem for him.

So, in the end, the writer(s) used this secondary character perfectly - building up mystery around him, having him step forward when necessary, but never allowing him to take over and steal the hero's thunder.

Do you use movies to help you with characterization and other story elements?


Currently Reading: Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland
Link of the Day: Sun Court Bibliography


Melissa Marsh said...

Great example of a secondary character! (Love the poster, too!)

I love to analyze the "craft" of movies - plot points, black moments, characterization, etc.

Tess said...

Yep - movies certainly do help. One of my cps writes screenplays and I find helping her with that has helped me see things in my own work as well. And she brings a different perspective to MY work :)

Rene said...

I don't usually find much inspiration in movies and t.v., mainly because I tend to turn off when I'm watching. I'm far more influenced by books I'm reading.

Tess said...

I think with me I find inspiration from those movies I watch over and over - like A Knight's Tale *g*. Once I know the story, I then can analyse the craft that went into it.

By rights, AKT is a movie I shouldn't like, because it's so far outside of historical reality AND because I loathe the heroine. BUT for some reason it always pulls me back.